Introduction to Harris River Fishing
If you’re looking for good Alaska fishing, then you will want to know that Harris River is a popular destination for many anglers who are visiting Alaska and really want to see the wild natural beauty of the state nicknamed “The Last Frontier.” This river is located in the southeastern-most part of the state among the islands and fjords that border the western side of Canada. There are a wide array of fish species that Alaska sports anglers can seek there, and the surrounding Tongass National Forest offers plenty of natural beauty for visitors and locals alike to enjoy. Anyone who wants to enjoy the Alaska fishing opportunities offered here will have to do some traveling, but the rewards are not only great angling, but the natural beauty from some of the best and most beautiful landscapes that the state has to offer. Read on for some tips and advice to help you prepare for fishing or fly fishing Alaska’s great rivers.
Harris River Fishing Basics
The Harris River area is located on the Prince of Wales Island in southeast Alaska. Klawock, Craig, and Hollis are the nearest villages, and the river runs both in and out of the Tongass National Forest. The river cuts through almost the exact middle of the island. This is a relatively isolated area, and these are very small villages that are still quite a distance from a town of any considerable size, even by Alaskan standards.
Several different species of game fish can be caught from the Harris River. Salmon, steelhead, and trout are the three fish that the Harris River is most famous for, and annual salmon runs sometimes choke the river, completely filling it with fish. Dolly Varden trout are also common in the area. The three most common species of salmon at the Harris River are coho, pink and chum, although there are occasions where the other species can be found in the area as well, but rarely in as great numbers.
Alaska Fishing License Requirements
Anyone age 16 or over is required by Alaska state law to purchase a sports fishing license. Visitors can purchase one-, three-, seven- or 14-day licenses, as well as a full season license. Costs vary from season to season as well, depending on the license that is purchased. As of 2010, costs varied from $30 to $240, plus more if a salmon stamp was necessary. The only exception to this are residents over 60, who have the ability to apply for a special identification card that also works as a permanent license for them. Children under the age of 16 do not need a fishing license regardless of residency, but a stamp for salmon is still required regardless of age.
Other Harris River Alaska Fishing Considerations
In the Harris River area, although the open season for fishing of a species might be year-round, there are definitely better times for pursuing certain types of fish. The best trout fishing times along the river won’t be the same as the best steelhead times or the best Dolly Varden trout times. Ask locals for advice on matching the best section of river with the best season to fish for your favorite game fish. The Tongass National Forest is still fairly wild country. You will want to make sure to have an emergency first aid kit, maps and bear spray. While bear attacks are rare, it’s best to be prepared for any potential situation that might arise.